snichols This is more of a Linux versus Windows comparison. I've worked mostly in Windows for about 10 years. Before that I used MSDOS in the late 80s and early 90s. I've been using Linux for one year and thought I share some differences I noticed between the two OS's. Anyone else feel free to contribute.
LV I've not used Linux GUI much - just command line. But I don't recall ever seeing a need to restart X in the times I used it. And I have used Sun Solaris for more than 20 years and can't think of more than a handful of times I had to restart X. HOWEVER, the times I had to were annoying, because it was changing certain display oriented settings that should have been able to be changed dynamically.
snichols I'm using Synergy[L1 ] to share my mouse and keyboard with my Windows laptop and Linux box. I think Synergy is causing the intermittent problems, but being able to share the keyboard and clipboard (copy and paste) is worth it to me.
LV Well, frankly, most of the files that GNOME or other windowing systems create are tough to edit without special tools, and these days the support teams discourage editing them without special tools. Then there are the special files which require special permissions, etc. Contemporary desktop environments are pretty much as bad as the registry.
LV I'm uncertain what you were trying to say here - I suspect it is that users generally don't use a command line when using Windows. It is, however, available. In fact, there are a variety of command lines available. Microsoft makes a DOS command line available, as well as something called Windows PowerShell. They also make available, for XP and Windows Server, a POSIX environment called SFU I think. However, the only time I see most people using the command lines are for certain administrative actions. The average user has no need to use the command line.
snichols I knew that Windows shipped with a commmand line: MSDOS. But, it isn't nearly as robust at the default command line that's included with Linux. I think a lot of the frustration people have with the command line is that they think of MSDOS's and don't even know Linux's has much more features. I wasn't sold on the command line until I started using Linux's. Things like grep, locate, find, are good tools for developers, and make working with text easier.
LV Note that Linux doesn't _require_ using a command line. For instance, I have NEVER used a command line on my linux based Tivo machine. I suspect that people using Linux phones also have never used a command line.
Being forced to use command lines means that insufficient attention has been paid to the user interface on the particular machine...
[some unknown writer]: ... There is good reason humankind has progressed vom clubpointing and grunting to written expression of ideas and intentions ( it is called progress UK ). IMHO a point and click interface has problems going beyond what the gui designer has thought of.
snichols I didn't mean having to use the command line was a bad thing. In my office, I think most people prefer to use the command line because it's more efficient then having to use a mouse, copy and paste from one application to another, etc. I know most GUI applications have keyboard shortcut keys, but how many people actually learn them?
LV I understand your point. My reaction was triggered by historical reasons - one of the most frequent Linux criticisms (by people who are not code jockies) revolves around the fact that it is so command line driven. You indicate that a good understanding of the command line is necessary. As long as that fact is true, consumer acceptance of Linux is going to be limited.
LV I don't find this to be true. Certainly there are certain types of programs that can be made up in this way. But the same types of things can also be done on Windows. On the other hand, to write the equivalent functionality as someone using DDE and COM would be using, the Linux programmer is going to have to either use Java, with all of its classes, or learn to access CORBA, etc. from a scripting language.
AET 7jun07 Only for FAT-filesystem Windows (up to 98) - not common now. FAT does not support file security. HPFS (NT variants) supports ACLS (Access Control Lists, which originated in Multics), but is not set up by default upon installation. I have found some laptops with XP installed into FAT - dunno why.
escargo - Virtual Network Computing (VNC [L2 ]) can be used with either. You can also connect to a Windows system from Linux using a Remote Desktop Protocol client such as rdesktop [L3 ]. gg - You can also connect from Windows to Linux (or Linux to Linux) using that.
[some unknown user writes:] Hmm, what's X11 for? you can have subwindows from different hosts in the same application. Try that with the jonny come lately stuff ;-)
In nearly all cases cpu hogs are handled well enough for loads that consume all of "available" cpu time to be not detimentally noticable in X11.
LV I find myself waiting on the Windows system more than Unix systems, but I do find myself waiting on things more in the past five years than in the old days. Linux is rushing along to make itself more and more like Windows...
Linux is a good development environment for a programmer, because just about anything can be automated via a script. Windows seems more geared to a casual user that would rather browse to where they need to go. I mention DDE and COM as what most Windows programs use, but I heard .NET is using SOAP which probably is hard or harder than those to grasp. If you work as a developer your really going to like Linux.